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If it looks like a duck, and pushes like a duck…

If it looks like a duck, and pushes like a duck…

We’re fans of the Plan Toys philosophy of making quality play things that are  healthy for kids, contribute to our communities, and are good for the planet. Plan Toys has a knack for creating fresh twists on classic toys that promote children’s physical, emotional, and intellectual development.  We love their simply delightful, clever, and stylish takes on wooden push and pull toys, like the new Plan Toys Push-a-Long Duck. Made from sustainable rubberwood and non-toxic dyes in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 12-18 Months, Contests, Featured, Pre-schoolers, Toddlers, Toys (12-24 M), Toys (Pre-School)

Black Friday Coupon Codes

Black Friday Coupon Codes

This post will update with Black Friday Deals throughout the weekend… Toys & Children’s Gifts Back to Basics Toys: 10%-off orders $50+, 15%-off orders $100+, and 20%-off orders $150+. Expires 12/1/09. Enter code SSAVINGS8 at checkout. Craftsbury Kids Coupon Code: Save 15% on everything today 11/27 through Monday 11/30. Enter code BF09.; Free Shipping with MAMA09 (Expires 12/31/09) Disney Store: 20% off sitewide with the purchase of $99 or more at DisneyStore.com with Promo Code: FRIDAY20 eToys.com: FREE Shipping … Read entire article »

Filed under: Coupons, Featured

Best Musical Instruments and Toys for Kids (Hottest Holiday Toy Awards)

Best Musical Instruments and Toys for Kids (Hottest Holiday Toy Awards)

Learning a musical instrument opens up new worlds for children. As the granddaughter of a professional musician, music has played an important role in my life since I was a very young child. And this is a gift I am excited to share with my children, as well.  The musical toys from our Hottest Holiday Toys Awards allow the child to create his own rhythms and melodies, rather than simply play a song … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Gift Guides, Musical Toys

Making It Fun To Be Neat

Making It Fun To Be Neat

Is your playroom cluttered with blocks, LEGO toys, cars, and trains?  While you could spend your precious free time organizing, a better strategy is to inspire your children to clean up their own toys.  Purchasing the right storage solutions makes the job easier. One of my favorite products is the ZipBin, a combination toy and organizational product. ZipBins convert between play mats and storage bins in a zip (sorry…I couldn’t resist the pun).  We have the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Featured, Gift Ideas, Hip Find, Kids Gifts, Organizers, Play, Pre-schoolers, School Aged Children

Shop Local: Support Neighborhood Toy Stores

Shop Local: Support Neighborhood Toy Stores

Going to the toy store is a magical experience and a real treat for kids. Local toy stores often have impressive displays of stuffed animals, dolls and trains. My son’s favorite spot is the train table at our local store. While he plays happily with Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, I have the opportunity to discover some high-quality toys unavailable at the big box stores. And I can count on the friendly store owner to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Baby Gifts, Building Toys, Contests, Featured, Gift Ideas, Hip Find, Play, Toy Stores, Toys (All Ages)

We Had a Car Accident Last Night

We Had a Car Accident Last Night

Last night I was driving home from a friend’s birthday in Brooklyn, with my husband in the passenger seat and my two children in the second row of seats, strapped into their Britax Car Seats (a Boulevard CS and a Frontier). Without going into details, let’s just say the accident was bad. Really bad. But our Honda Odyssey and our Britax car seats did their jobs.  My entire family walked away from the accident. This is not the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Car Seat, Featured

Spotlight on Creative Pretend Play (Hottest Holiday Toys Awards)

Children are naturally creative. A few well-chosen toys are great “props” for their imagination.  The Creative Pretend Play Winners from our Hottest Holiday Toys Awards all support role playing, creative exploration, and discovery. Color Me House ($40) has an eco-friendly alternative to pricey, plastic play houses. Plus, your child gets to decorate with friends. We like the rocket ($50)–blast off! Future fashion designers will be inspired by Harumika, a mannequin wuth a rubber “style lock … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Gift Guides, Play Houses, Toys (All Ages)

Zambi Furreal Friends Giveaway

Zambi the Baby Elephant (Furreal Friends) is a charmer. He giggles and will even give you a kiss. But Zambi has a serious side–50% of the net profits go to benefit orphans of the AIDS epidemic in Africa as part of Project Zambi.  Celebrities love Zambi, too and several signed special edition Zambi for an eBay fundraiser. When I met Baby Zambi at Toy Fair (video), I was captivated by his antics and also … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Contests, Featured, Toys (School Age)

Harumika Giveaway

Next up on our 12 Days of Giveaways is another Hottest Holiday Toys Award-Winner.  I fell in love with Harumika when I received it for review in July (full review + video of my three year old creating a fashion design with Harumika). And when I say “fell in love with” I mean that I actually play “Project Runway” with it at night when my daughter is sleeping. It is a simple and creative toy that any … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Dolls, Fashion, Featured, Kids Gifts, Toys (School Age)

Fresh from the Market – A New Step2 Kitchen!

Fresh from the Market – A New Step2 Kitchen!

Kitchens are a classic toy for toddlers up through young school aged children.  Just like the adults, children at a play date congregate around the kitchen.  With the Step2 Fresh Market Kitchen (Step2.com – $200), there is room for several children to play side-by-side or engage in imaginative games of grocery shopping and cooking with friends. We host frequent play dates at our house and the Step2 kitchen has been a real hit.  The children really … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Featured, Toys (12-24 M), Toys (Pre-School), Toys (School Age)